What better way to spend a beautiful summer’s day than by heading out into the countryside, stopping at a pub or two along the way?
This summer, why not head out into the countryside for a fantastic day out near Leeds? Not only can you go for a lovely walk around God’s Own County, but we’ve made sure every stroll on this list has at least one pub for you to stop at along the way for the all-important refreshments. It means you can enjoy all the natural beauty Yorkshire has to offer and treat yourself to a well deserved pint after. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Otley to Bramhope via Eccup Walk
Otley is a popular starting point for walkers and you can’t go wrong with this 10-mile route for your next wander. It’s full of intriguing landmarks and even better pubs – now that’s a summer’s day out. It starts at the town’s bus station, which you can leave for a swift starting sup at The Junction Inn or walk past to reach the old dismantled railway and up past Caley Hall Farm – you’ll find a few awe-inspiring viewpoints along the way to Caley Crags.
Once you’re done gawping – and who would blame you? – head north of Bramhope to reach The Dales Way. It’ll lead you to Eccup where you can walk up to the reservoir, before taking a small detour over to The New Inn on the way back. You can treat yourself to a little extra on this last leg – it veers off to Golden Acre Park, a sprawling summer hotspot full of fresh flowers and plants at this time of year. One last landmark deserves one last pub – you’re not far from The Fox and Hounds, where quality pub grub awaits.
The walk starts at Otley Bus Station, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3NX. Check out the route.
Skipton to Malham
Two of North Yorkshire’s most picturesque towns are connected by this 12-mile walk. From Skipton to Malham, it’s the ideal summer pub walk. It starts at Chapel Hill in the former, about an hour from Leeds, and you’ll quickly take on your first landmark, the Sharp Haw summit on Tarn Moor – stop here for views to make the heart sing. The hamlet of Flasby is next, before you enter Hetton, where you’ll find The Angel Inn, a charming country pub with a big beer garden.
Pint supped, you’ll find the bridleway opposite to take you across the moorland over to Winterburn Reservoir – look out for Pendle Hill in the distance on a clear day – and head up to Weets Top to join The Dales High Way. The limestone ravine of Gordale Scar is a short distance away, then as you head back to Malham, the thick woods will lead you to the hidden Janet’s Foss waterfall. In Malham, The Lister Arms and The Buck Inn await to feed and quench you.
The walk starts at Chapel Hill, Skipton, BD23 1NL. Check out the route.
Fewston Reservoir Circular
Fancy a leisurely waterside stroll? One blessed with picturesque views and incredible scenery? The 45-minute trip out to Blubberhouses in Nidderdale will do just the job. It’s home to a 3.7-mile route that circles the pretty Fewston Reservoir, which comes alive during the summer with wildflowers springing up in the grassy areas around its perimeter. Heck, if you’re especially lucky, you might even see some sheep grazing on its banks.
From millwork to betony, golden rod to common vetch, you can see it all as you walk from the reservoir’s car park in the village and do a 360-degree circuit. It’s not just the flora to watch out for, there’s plenty of fauna too. Out on the water, you’ll see geese and ducks, while up in the trees, you can spot birds and butterflies. Before you head back into Blubberhouses, take a 15-minute detour to The Timble Inn – it’s the perfect place for a pint, a bite or even an overnight stay.
The walk starts at Fewston Reservoir car park, Blubberhouses, North Yorkshire, LS21 2NY. Check out the route.
Thorner Moor Circular
Just 20 minutes from Leeds, the picturesque country village of Thorner is home to a doozy of a stroll. It’s long at eight miles, but oodles of easygoing paths and gentle terrain make it a tottering treat. It starts at St Peter’s Church before you head out onto Thorner Moor to look out over the sweeping fields below you. You’ll soon chance upon your first watering hole, the traditional setting of The Fox & Grapes on Mangrill Lane – the beer garden is a tempting pitstop.
Once you’ve quaffed, you can head back up the same road, passing the vast Bramham Park estate, Stubbing Moor and Wothersome Lake, before you enter the Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve. Here you can take solace in a tranquil natural retreat, as well as exploring the famed, mysterious Pompocali Earthworks. Nature and history sit side-by-side here, before you take Thorner Lane first to The Inn at Scarcroft and then to The Mexborough Arms.
The walk starts at St Peter’s Church, Thorner, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS14 3ED. Check out the route.
Hawksworth Wood Circular
You can explore the natural wonders hidden around North Leeds on this 6.7-mile walk that’s made for summer days out. You’ll start at Hawksworth Wood, near Kirkstall Abbey, following the paths west along the River Aire – from heathland to wildflower meadows, woodpeckers to even roe deer, it’s amazing what you might stumble upon. Once you reach Newlay Bridge, you can stop for a mid-saunter sup at The Abbey Inn and its exquisite beer garden.
From there, the towpath along the Leeds Liverpool Canal will take you up to Rodley Nature Reserve where you can spot wetland wildlife. Thirsty? The Rodley Barge is just a little further down the path, or you can carry on under Calverley Bridge to reach The Railway Inn. Well-earned rest complete, you can join the Leeds Country Way at Owl Bridge, which will lead you to Hunger Hills in Horsforth and through Haigh Wood all the way back via Oil Mill Beck.
Start at Hawksworth Wood, Rein Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS18 4TA. Check out the route.Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2023 by Suzy Rodden.